Diversity and DNA Barcode Analysis of Chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) from Large Rivers in South Korea

Hyo Jeong Kang, Min Jeong Baek, Ji Hyoun Kang, Yeon Jae Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Most large rivers in South Korea run through major cities, which often experience many environmental problems, including outbreaks of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). How-ever, chironomid species inhabiting large rivers have not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to identify chironomid species collected from the four main large rivers in South Korea, construct a corresponding DNA barcode library, and examine the distribution and community structure of the identified riverine species. Adult chironomids were collected from nine sites along the rivers by using sweep nets and light traps during June and August 2015. Adults were morphologically identified, and COI nucleotide sequences were generated to verify the species identification and construct a DNA barcode library. The distribution and community structure of the identified species were also analyzed. A total of 124 COI sequences were established from 37 species belonging to 19 genera, and the resulting DNA barcode library effectively discriminated >90% of riverine Chironomidae in South Korea. Ten species, which are considered indicator species for large rivers, were collected from all four rivers. In addition, members of the subfamily Chironominae were collected more frequently than members of other subfamilies, with Tanytarsus tamagotoi being the most common and widespread chironomid species in South Korea. The DNA barcode library developed in this study will facilitate environmental studies of large rivers, such as biomonitoring chironomid larvae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number346
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr


  • COI
  • Chironomidae
  • DNA barcode library
  • South Korea
  • distribution
  • large river

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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